Gronberg beats the Twister

Sweden's Matthias Gronberg and Holland's Rolf Muntz lead in Doha

Martin Park
Fri, 10 Mar 2000

A Swede and a Dutchman lead after two rounds of the Qatar Masters in Doha. But Australia's Peter Lonard collapsed to a 78 on day two and England's David Lynn, nicknamed the British coat hanger because of his wiry frame, carded a 76 to fall back down the list.

Matthias Grönberg and Dutchman Rolf Muntz made the best of conditions more akin to the film set of 'Twister' to finish at 3-under par for the tournament. But they are closely followed by Irishman Paul McGinley, who returned a 2-under par 70 and up and last year's runner up, Dane Sjoren Kjeldsen, also with a 70.

Gronberg, winner of the South African Open at Randpark, is heading for his second win of the year after hitting every fairway on his way to a 2-under par 70 and he says that he can play better than that. The big hitting Swede based in Monaco hopes that the condition will remain fair over the weekend and that the wind blows constantly during the day.

"I could have been even more under par". Said the Swede, "But I suppose I should be happy with that in these conditions. I hope it stays that way over the weekend and is fair to the entire field. Sometimes the wind blows hard in the afternoon, but with no wind in the morning. I just want it to be fair". He added.

Muntz scratched around for a one-over par 73 in the howling conditions and found himself tied for the lead. The Dutchman aims to go one better than his 2nd place finish behind Warren Bennett at the Scottish PGA Championships.

A slim-line Russell Claydon leads the British charge into the weekend after his second round 72 tied for 4th place. Claydon has lost four stone over the winter period and now weighs in at a sprightly 16-stone. And Gary Orr is Scotland's only hope of a hat trick of victories tied for 6th. Orr, the Portuguese Open Champion fought hard to card a 74 and remain in the hunt for the weekend.

Conditions are said to improve, as the greenkeepers will cut the rough to allow better scoring over the weekend. But it is expected that the wind will blow as hard, so scoring will still be tough. The greens were also mown at a higher level today, 4mm, because the ball would not stay still on the greens.

But the rough was bad news for Seve Ballesteros, in his second event on the tour this year, 'El Maestro' had to retire with a serious wrist injury that may put him out of next week's Madeira Island Open. Ballesteros played for just three holes before pulling out when he sprained his wrist hitting a shot out of the thick rough.

Among those who missed the cut at +6 were Justin Rose, Alistair Forsyth and 1998 Champion Andrew Coltart. Two 78's were Rose's undoing and Forsyth battled well for a 73 today but yesterdays 80 left him with too much work to do. But compatriot Andrew Coltart crashed to an 83, bogeying his first seven holes and ended the run with a double at the eighth.

For full results and statistics, click on the European Tour website on but don't forget to come back will you!



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